Turkey expects 15 mln tourists, 11 bln USD tourist revenue in 2020: minister

Source: Xinhua| 2020-08-24 17:31:14|Editor: huaxia

ISTANBUL, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Turkey expects to host as much as 15 million tourists this year, generating some 11 billion U.S. dollars of revenue, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said on Monday.

"We think that we would catch 15 million tourists if there wouldn't be an adverse activity in air traffic, and achieve more than 11 billion dollars of revenue," Ersoy said at a live interview on the NTV broadcaster.

He noted that the tourism sector in the country began to gain momentum as of June as Turkey started to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions.

"Heavy air traffic began with countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Britain, and Germany," Ersoy said, noting that a total of 6.5 million foreign tourists have arrived in Turkey until the end of July.

"The tourism season started late, but it seems that it would end late," he added.

Ersoy also noted that Turkey's expectations for 2020 were very high, but due to the pandemic, there would be a grave shrinkage when compared with last year's figures.

In 2019, Turkey hosted 45 million tourists, prompting a total of 34.5 billion dollars of revenue.

Meanwhile, the ministry has so far granted 4,900 safe tourism certificates to tourism facilities across the country that defines an extensive series of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and ensure the safety of tourists both in accommodation and transportation, according to Ersoy.

Through this certification program, Turkey aims to relieve the COVID-19-related concerns of tourists, said Ersoy. Enditem